Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), in conjunction with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), asked the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to enhance export controls on a semiconductor producer in China.
According to the duo, the producer, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), is a pride of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The strengthened controls would allow the U.S. to prevent the People’s Liberation Army from using American technology for its own gain.
According to some reports, the agency is considering the added measures.
“We welcome this news because SMIC presents a clear national security threat to the United States and our allies and partners. SMIC has strong ties with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In light of the Chinese Communist Party’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy, SMIC should be treated as part of the PLA. Indeed, SMIC-produced semiconductors are undoubtedly integral parts of the Chinese military’s advanced weapon systems. Moreover, SMIC reportedly will partner with Huawei, another Chinese telecommunications company designated on the U.S. Entity List, to build a semiconductor manufacturing plant worth over $10 billion in mainland in an effort to blunt the effects of U.S. export controls and sanctions,” the two lawmakers wrote.
Throughout his tenure as a U.S. senator, Hagerty has placed a focus on the production of valuable technology.
For example, the first piece of legislation that Hagerty secured the passage of was a bill to allow certain national-security technologies, like semiconductors, to be included in the FAST-41 federal permitting program. The program creates a reduction in the manufacturing timeline for the critical pieces.
“Making such a change would close an important loophole and prevent the CCP and PLA from using U.S. technology to advance its military modernization programs. These programs and systems have the potential to be used in a conflict with the United States, Taiwan, and other allies and partners,” Hagerty and Cotton added.
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